Our bodies are well designed. They are constantly clearing debris in the form of environmental and metabolic toxins from our cells, breaking them down in the liver and eliminating them via food waste and mucus. When the body is overloaded by toxins, in an effort to preserve physical health, it stores them in the fatty tissue between our muscle lining and organs which can lead to weight gain and chronic disease when they create cellular dysfunction.
Our bodies are constantly working to detoxify so it makes sense that we support them as best we can. Unless we are experiencing ill health, a radical detox may not be required. Instead, we can incorporate small steps every day to help the body rid itself of toxins, minimise toxic load and experience better health.
Here are five simple ways to help the detoxification process:
Drink Enough Water
Make sure that you drink water when you are thirsty and half an hour before meals. Water is an essential part of our daily diets but worryingly it is estimated that up to 75% of people in the first world are chronically dehydrated. Water carries nutrients to our cells, flushes waste from our body, aids our kidneys in detox and helps keep the colon healthy. It also fights inflammation and helps the body eliminate excess liquid that is retained during dehydration.
Eat Fruit as Your First Meal of the Day
Fruit is easy to digest, water rich and full of soluble fibre. Fruit is also rich in antioxidants which remove potentially oxidising agents that damage and mutate cells, polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory properties and immune boosting vitamins. Eating fruit as the first meal of the day, allows the digestive system to awake slowly after it has fasted and rested overnight. Fruit digests more quickly than any other foods so eating it first allows the body to properly digest and absorb its nutrients.
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. Easily digested and packed full of water soluble nutrients that the body needs on a daily basis, they help protect us from heart disease, stroke and cancer. The prebiotics found in vegetables ferment in the small intestine where they aid the body in efficiently absorbing nutrients. A rich source of fibre, vegetables promote bowel health by feeding good bacteria and improving the strength and texture of the gut floor.
Take Light Exercise
Exercise is always beneficial and incorporating 30 minutes of light exercise into your day such as walking, stretching or rebounding helps circulation, lung health, bone health, muscle strength and the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system carries a fluid around the body called lymph that delivers nutrients to cells and waste to the lungs, kidneys and colon for elimination. Exercise keeps lymph moving freely throughout the body as well as clearing any blockages that create pain, fatigue and weight gain.
Get Enough Sleep
Recent research has shown that sleep deprivation has the same effect on the immune system as physical stress and illness. During sleep, the body repairs itself, mentally and physically, working hard on heart and blood health, the central nervous system, lung health, cell restoration, brain function and producing antibodies that protect and fight infection. Sleep helps to maintain healthy hormonal balance as well as the body’s ability to deal with insulin. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and overeating. Adults need around 7-9 hours sleep to feel their best and function well.
If these tips seem like common sense it’s because they are. We all have a basic knowledge of the support our bodies require from us but sometimes we fall out of the habit of providing it. Starting with a few easy steps to help ourselves improve our daily health is a great way to create habits that we can stick to that promote wellbeing and help us feel our best.